- Discover Indonesia Online

You are currently in > Just a blog about Indonesia > Locals grow crops in protected Kendari forest

Locals grow crops in protected Kendari forest KENDARI - "Don't just blame us for stripping the forest -- first take a look at what local people have done to conserve it," said Haji Naim, 58, one of a group of farmers standing at the foot of the hilly Murhum Forest Park in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi. Along with the others, Haji is cultivating crops in the protected forest park -- part of what he calls an "agroforestry" system.

Haji Naim's plot is planted with short-term secondary crops of corn and bananas, as well as longer-term plants like cacao, pepper, cloves and candlenuts. The partially forested land is still fertile and the local community enjoys abundant harvests in the area. But instead of being cut down as part of the land-clearing, the trees around the crops are conserved.

But "agroforestry", as Naim calls it, is really just another name for compromise. Located on land 200 meters above sea level on the city outskirts of Kendari, Murhum Park is supposed to be a protected forest zone. However, around 600 families in the districts of Kendari, West Kendari and Mandonga have formed 18 farm collectives engaged in the Murhum agroforestry effort. After about seven years' cultivation, Naim now is reaping high yields. "I've gained my first cacao harvest in the past five months," he said.

Cacao and candlenuts can thrive on this land without extra fertilization. Naim is currently growing 70 candlenut and 300 cacao trees, with the latter producing up to 500 kilograms of cacao a season. This income alone is enough for him to support his family and send his children to school.

Along with the perennial crops, the farmer groups are also growing quick-yielding trees, including bananas and corn. "These plants also flourish," Naim said. However, the presence of wild boar in the protected area meant the crops had to be fenced of with bamboo, he said. The rise in fortunes of the farmers has led to increase in size of their traditional market in the Kemaraya subdistrict. Set on the banks of the Lahundape River, the once-local affair now serves buyers from other areas.

However, while the farmers are happy, Kendari city residents and the municipal authorities are not so keen on the agroforestry scheme, which is technically still illegal. They say the villagers' land use is depriving the forest of its water-retention function, meaning less water is flowing into the town's 12 catchment areas.

Poor regulation

Some also believe the settlement is causing increasing sediment to run off into Kendari Bay. A Haluoleo University study says the bay's mud content is already close to the threshold of two million cubic tons, meaning it will change into a plain in the next 10 years if nothing is done to stop the sedimentation.

In their defense, the farmers point to another study by the Coastal and Interior Community Development Institute (Lepmil), a non-governmental organization engaged in environmental advocacy in the Murhum area. It blames flawed city planning for the thousands of tons of rubbish dumped into city drains every day, a main cause of the sedimentation.

"The garbage dumped by thousands of citizens finally goes into the bay," the group's director, Rustanto, said. Despite its complaints about the farmers, Rustanto noted the municipality had done nothing to stop illegal mining activities in the area or enforce anti-river dumping laws.

Other companies operating in the coastal zone had also contributed to the bay's contamination, including fishery firms like PT Dharma Samudra, PT Djayanti Group and the local port, Rustanto said. In comparison, the mud produced by the Murhum farmers' settlement was far smaller in quantity. "In this case, we should avoid blaming each other. It is increasingly necessary for us to adopt alternative measures for integrated (waste) handling."

Rustanto believes the Murhum operation has increased people's awareness of the importance of safeguarding the forest against large-scale degradation. Agroforestry meant land management through sustainable crop planting, he said. Anas Nikoyan, the head of Haluoleo University's environmental research center, said the agroforestry-based planting pattern developed by Murhum farmers would only contribute to forest conservation as long as they remained committed to avoiding destructive activity.

"This is an alternative income generator for Murhum and is the best way to build community awareness about forest conservation," he said. However, Anas hoped that a legal framework would soon be introduced to regulate the management of the forest park. This would give local farmers' more certainty, he said.

Lepmil's 2003 data shows that the Murhum Forest Park has a plantation area of 440.67 hectares and a newly reclaimed area of 126.17 hectares. Fifty hectares had been settled with a farming population of 704. At the end of January, a team from the Department for International Development visited the forest park and talked with several local farmers.

Forestry expert Mike Harrison and British journalist Charlie Pye-Smith were impressed by the farmers' agroforestry management. "Their activities could become examples for other communities, within or outside forest zones," Harrison said.

Posted in Environment @ 22 February 2006 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

There are no reactions on this blog entry yet. Be the first one to give a reaction here!

Log in to write a reaction

You are not logged in to the website. You have to be logged in to write a reaction on this blog entry.

· If you already have an account, please login.
· If you have lost your password, please retrieve it.
· If you don't have an account yet, you can create one.

Add this blog entry to your email, your own blog, MySpace, Facebook, or whatsoever via AddThis:
Bookmark and Share

e-mail updates for this blog article

Login if you want to receive emails for reactions on this blog entry. You will receive an update as soon as a reaction on this blog entry is posted.

Your website for tickets in Indonesia!
Looking for e-tickets for flights in Indonesia? Here's your solution! Order your e-tickets at
· 2015, 28 entries
· 2014, 591 entries
· 2013, 750 entries
· 2012, 1061 entries
· 2011, 792 entries
· 2010, 644 entries
· 2009, 916 entries
· 2008, 504 entries
· 2007, 725 entries
· 2006, 1014 entries
· 2005, 723 entries
· 2004, 558 entries
· 2003, 525 entries
· 2002, 375 entries
· 2001, 162 entries
· gigolo
· jakarta
· blogger
Automatically generated every hour
· General (1205 entries)
· Economy (643 entries)
· Politics (574 entries)
· Accidents (561 entries)
· Terrorism (541 entries)
· Earthquake (539 entries)
· Volcanoes (387 entries)
· Crime (357 entries)
· Corruption (349 entries)
· Flooding (278 entries)
· Elections (276 entries)
· Travel (268 entries)
· Bird Flu (254 entries)
· Religion (242 entries)
· Tourism (239 entries)
· Oddly enough ... (219 entries)
· Violence (198 entries)
· Drugs (196 entries)
· Health (192 entries)
· Aceh conflict (191 entries)
· Environment (185 entries)
· Weather (171 entries)
· Military (168 entries)
· Protests (157 entries)
· Culture (106 entries)
· Garuda Indonesia (91 entries)
· C. Sulawesi conflict (86 entries)
· Human rights (82 entries)
· Forest fires (78 entries)
· Sidoarjo mudflow (71 entries)
· Power supply (64 entries)
· Ramadan (63 entries)
· PT Freeport (55 entries)
· Picture guess (48 entries)
· Maluku conflict (47 entries)
· Dengue Fever (37 entries)
· History (37 entries)
· Infrastructure (36 entries)
· Polio (35 entries)
· Mexican flu (35 entries)
· Website (25 entries)
· Media (22 entries)
· Nuclear power (21 entries)
· Sports (20 entries)
· Sexy (16 entries)
· SARS (15 entries)
· Nightlife (10 entries)
· Others (5 entries)
· Lippo Cikarang (5 entries)
· Close smallest categories
EUR-IDR: 16,590 · 16,620  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 18:12 CET
JPY-IDR: 126.83 · 126.95  The Rupiah rate improved since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 21:58 CET
MYR-IDR: 3,545 · 3,549  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 15 May 2018 08:42 CET
SGD-IDR: 10,479 · 10,501  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 07 May 2018 07:48 CET
THB-IDR: 439.14 · 439.41  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 16 May 2018 09:18 CET
USD-IDR: 14,097 · 14,157  The Rupiah rate declined since yesterday
@ 17 May 2018 00:46 CET
Go to 'exchange rates' 
·  At 03 March 2021 07:43 hotwin reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 10 November 2020 16:59 AdvocaatHulp reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 14 July 2020 08:32 newnight reacted on Three more bodies of AirAsia victims to Surabaya hospital
·  At 20 September 2018 06:54 erik12 reacted on Fuel prices lowered, again
·  At 19 October 2015 17:17 imambudianto5 reacted on Bank Indonesia maintains benchmark interest rate at 7.75%
·  At 04 March 2015 19:18 merdekaSah reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 04 March 2015 13:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Alleged terrorists shot dead three villagers in Poso
·  At 26 February 2015 13:02 Irena reacted on Sexy, a young woman with candy
·  At 08 May 2014 09:51 jstar reacted on No alcohol should be sold in warung
·  At 01 May 2014 10:07 jstar reacted on Indonesia to be among the top 10 peacekeeping contributors
·  At 27 March 2014 05:50 harlys reacted on PPP leader voices concern over Islamic parties' future
·  At 10 March 2014 06:11 Yogya-Bali reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 09 March 2014 00:11 Yerun reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 08 March 2014 20:33 nicknick reacted on Sriwijaya Air leaves behind 200 passengers at airport
·  At 18 February 2014 04:17 Yerun reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 16 February 2014 05:41 Amed East Bali reacted on Ash from Mount Kelud eruption spreads over all of Java
·  At 14 February 2014 22:27 Anne Mieke reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 14 February 2014 22:22 beritaislam reacted on Asylum seekers in Medan wish to be sent to Australia
·  At 16 January 2014 15:37 Anne Mieke reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
·  At 16 January 2014 15:21 Yerun reacted on Landslides cut off Tomohon-Manado road
Go to 'forum topics' 

Created by · feedback & contact · © 2000-2021
Other websites by · · ·

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional 156,087,738 pageviews Discover Indonesia Online at